Understanding Foreign Policy Decision Making
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Understanding Foreign Policy Decision Making presents a decision making approach to foreign policy analysis. This approach focuses on the decision process, dynamics, and outcome, highlighting the role of psychological factors in foreign policy decision making. The book includes a wealth of extended real-world case studies and examples that are woven into the text. The cases and examples, which are written in an accessible style, include decisions made by leaders of the United States, Israel, New Zealand, Cuba, Iceland, United Kingdom, and others. In addition to coverage of the rational model of decision making, levels of analysis of foreign policy decision making, and types of decisions, the book includes extensive material on alternatives to the rational choice model, the marketing and framing of decisions, cognitive biases and errors, and domestic, cultural, and international influences on decision making in international affairs. Existing textbooks do not present such an approach to foreign policy decision making, international relations, American foreign policy, and comparative foreign policy.
of Homeland Security. FEMA now had to go through too many bureaucratic layers. The rational model is useful in situations such as the strategic analysis of deterrence and nuclear weapons. It has been applied in game theory settings to show how certain decisions have been made. For example, the rational actor assumption employed in the Prisoner’s Dilemma game demonstrates why actors who cannot or do not communicate make suboptimal decisions in a one-shot interactive game. Psychological theories
the mistakes made in Vietnam (and, to a lesser extent, the Bay of Pigs) were not repeated, and the crisis was not allowed to become “Americanized.” The United States was leery of the Bolivians indiscriminately attacking rural villages trying to root out rebels and their sympathizers. An article in the Times of London quoted an American diplomat clearly applying a Vietnam analogy to Bolivia (Ryan 1998, 79). The diplomat noted that if civilians were harmed with napalm and other excessive uses of
because attacking another democracy would be viewed as a failure of foreign policy, leaders of democracies eliminate the attack alternative when the adversary is a democracy. A forceful challenge to the democratic peace is provided by Sebastian Rosato (2003), who argues that democracies are prone to surprise attack, do not always externalize peaceful norms, and do not credibly reveal private information about their willingness to ﬁght. Notwithstanding these criticisms, the democratic peace is a
Strategic, interactive decisions are those involving at least two players who make decisions that affect and are affected by the other player’s decisions. For example, Yasser Arafat, while president of the Palestinian National Authority, had to decide whether to accept, counter, or reject the offer made to him by Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000. The classic Prisoner’s Dilemma provides a prime example of a one-shot interactive decision. In this scenario, two suspects are
Simon 1984, 85; Richards et al. 1993; DeRouen Jr. 2001; Norris et al. 2003). For example, if the leader has convinced the public that the “surprisingly easy victory was due to his superior managerial skills,” then the leader obtains higher public support (Richards et al. 1993). Another framing tactic that helps tint the public lens is symbolic framing. The use of symbols typically evokes emotion and patriotic pride – which in turn increases public approval. For instance, Truman’s decision to send